the domestic sphere

my dalliances with all things domestic



So like I said, there are a thousand things floating around in my head after a weekend exposed to not just fabulous people, but people who are smart and dedicated and know what they are talking about. If going to a big trade show is good for nothing else, it's good for giving your enthusiasm a kick in the tochis. One thing now floating near the top of my head: crochet.

So here's the thing. I'm a lefthander. I am a right handed thrower in my knitting, and, after unsuccessfully trying to knit continental style, it dawned on me to try it gauche, so I can knit continental left handed, if pressed. And in that mind bendingly painful way, I can knit continental right handed only enough to help students who knit that way. Crochet, however, will have to be a strictly left handed thing. I did, a couple of months ago, teach myself the very basics of crochet and I can only just read a basic pattern... my will to do so came because I wanted to make one of those delightfully retro granny square vests. Yes, granny squares.

My new crochet mentor, Kim Werker, has apparently publicly shunned the granny square. Or at least wished it would go on very long vacation. Contrarian that I am, I am now envisioning absolutely fabulous granny square things. Like for instance, the Koigu Oriental Coat, only in grannies. Maybe my limited knowledge of crochet leads me to the square. But you could do other interlocking shapes brilliantly with crochet too. Hexagons, pentagons, something Escher-like. Crochet seems so well suited to such things.

Anyway, I am armed now with Kim and Cecily's brilliant book, Teach Yourself Visually Crocheting and am eager to try things out. And I will get myself a great big hook because Kim says that one of the things wrong with crochet is that there's a big tendency to work it too tightly making it bunchy and ugly and not drapey.

Another bit that has drawn me toward crochet -- freeform crochet. I think the techniques are straightforward enough. I think what is hard about it is having the artistic vision to have it look like Prudence Mapstone rather than yarn barf. I think I will start with separate elements and then work at the combinations of putting it all together. My other idea was to take an actual piece of art and really think about what makes it work and how it could serve as inspiration. How are the colors grouped? Where is the balance? The movement? The scale?

Anyway, I find myself schizophrenically moving back and forth between trying to figure out how to knit lace into a shrug (that will take shaping!) so that my lovely cashmere can come out of the closet and wanting to jump into the stash and start really learning how to crochet.

Or doing the work that I am supposed to be doing. Which is good too. Oh for a second set of hands!

posted by kristi at 1/25/2006 09:12:00 AM
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